LEXINGTON- The Morrow County School Board voted unanimously to accept a bid of just under $1.4 million for new roofs on four schools in the district, setting in motion a long-awaited project.

The roof on Riverside High School in Boardman leaks and needs the most work, district officials said, but it may be the two roofs in Heppner that are refurbished first.

That's because the Heppner projects would be the easiest to get done quickly.

While the bid was accepted Monday night, it could be two weeks before construction dates are set, Morrow County Superintendent Mark Burrows said.

The low bid for the project came in at about $400,000 more than the district had hoped to pay, Burrows said, but "modifications" were made in the plans to drop the price. The roof work will be paid through a building bond fund that still contains about $1.5 million.

Once work begins, the contractor will have one year to complete roofs at the Heppner elementary and high schools, Riverside High and A.C. Houghton in Irrigon.

Burrows said crews likely will work through the winter to complete the project and some construction will be done while classes are in session.

While the roofing project is set to go forward, another construction effort has been stopped in its tracks because of high prices.

Bids were sought for an indoor sports practice facility in Boardman, but the lowest bids came in nearly $150,000 higher then budgeted.

The facility was intended to be a joint venture between the district and the community, with the district putting up construction costs while independent groups raised money for infrastructure.

Burrows said the project has not been abandoned, but the plans will have to be revised to make it affordable.

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